February 23, 2023
Lara Arsinian, DEO Communications
$54 Million Economic Opportunity Grant Program Now Open to LA County’s Microbusinesses, Small Businesses, and Non-Profits
Apply today at grants.lacounty.gov!
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) launched Phase Two of the Economic Opportunity Grant (EOG) program, expanding the grant program from serving microbusinesses to include small businesses ($15,000 or $20,000 per grant) and nonprofits ($20,000 or $25,000 per grant). DEO launched Phase One in January 2023, initially accepting applications only from the County’s smallest and most vulnerable microbusinesses ($2,500 per grant).
Through EOG, DEO will award more than $54 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and California Office of Small Business Advocate funds across 6,800 grants in a continuous rollout to regions and organizations adversely affected by COVID-19. Since the launch of Phase One, more than 10,000 applications from microbusinesses have been submitted or are in progress.
DEO has partnered with Lendistry and the LA Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) to create a central application experience for the EOG program available at grants.lacounty.gov and to facilitate direct concierge support to applicants. Applicants can access live and multilingual webinars, instructional how-to-apply videos and demos, one-on-one application support, and in-person support events across the County to verify eligibility and submit successful applications.
“Through no fault of their own, small businesses and nonprofits across the county were devastated by the pandemic,” said Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “These grants are designed to help. If you own a small business or operate a nonprofit, this might be just what you were looking for.”
“Today is a testament to Los Angeles County’s commitment towards our small businesses community,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “This critical sector of our economy made significant sacrifices during the pandemic. Many had to temporarily close during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and deal with staffing shortages. The Economic Opportunity Grant Program, made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, will help to make a positive difference. I thank President Joe Biden for his work to prioritize equity and level the playing field for small business owners who are the bread and butter of our local economy.”
“I am thrilled that the County is using its American Rescue Plan dollars to directly invest in the communities that need it the most. $54 Million provided for microbusinesses, small businesses, and nonprofits will help uplift communities that have faced longstanding disinvestment and were hardest hit by the pandemic and economic crisis. Small businesses provide a critical role in our economy and overall community stability through the services and jobs they offer. It’s critical that we provide the necessary support for them thrive,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Second District.
“Our small businesses and nonprofits contribute to thriving, connected communities. It’s wonderful to be able to support small business owners impacted by COVID-19 through the Economic Recovery Grants, targeting the areas of our County and organizations where assistance is needed most. I hope businesses tap into this resource as a tool to stay open, hire locally, and innovate to make our communities stronger,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District.
“I’m eager for small businesses and non-profits in my district and Countywide to apply for these important grants. The new Economic Opportunity Grant program is a one-stop-shop that makes the application process as simple as possible, so I’m hopeful we’ll have a good turn out and help the maximum number of businesses possible. Small businesses provide jobs, inspire creativity and keep our local economy strong. It’s fitting for our County to provide support so they can continue to recover and flourish,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Fifth District.
“We’re putting $50 million back into the community and directing much needed resources to small businesses that continue to struggle and face disproportionate impacts from the pandemic even as they continue to serve and uplift local residents,” said Kelly LoBianco, Director of the newly created Department of Economic Opportunity. “Through multi-lingual services in 10+ languages, one-on-one counseling, and a suite of online toolkits, we’re committed to ensuring that diverse small businesses and non-profits receive the necessary support to submit a successful grant application and unlock vital financial assistance. We’re grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their leadership in ensuring an equitable recovery and a future of resiliency for our small business community and the funding opportunities available through the American Rescue Plan and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate.”
“So many of our region’s small businesses and nonprofits have yet to begin their recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and continue to face significant challenges,” said Pat Nye, Regional Director for the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center Network (LASBDC). “LA County’s Economic Opportunity Grants program is a true lifeline to small business in communities across our region and the LA SBDC is proud to partner with LA County on important resources like these.”
“Lendistry has been proud to serve its home state of California, help small businesses recover, and innovate solutions to make sure program funds reach the businesses that need them most. Community partnerships like this are part of the fabric at Lendistry and in Los Angeles, and we commend the county for presenting this multifaceted program,” says Everett K. Sands, founder and CEO of Lendistry.
“Women and BIPOC-owned small businesses are the present and future of L.A. County. With programs like this they have a better chance of growing as we move out of the pandemic’s after effects. We are proud to partner with LA County to give small businesses the opportunity to thrive,” says Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, president and CEO of The Center by Lendistry.
Three local microbusiness owners joined LA County leaders to accept ceremonious checks as the first three approved EOG awardees from Phase One. Saul Venegas of Venegas Technologies based in the City of Bell, Deborah Griffin of BoutD Transportation based in Gardena, and Sean Holman of Z Makers Studios based in Canoga Park are among the first to receive financial relief through the EOG program.
Applicants can visit grants.lacounty.gov to apply now, review eligibility, or access support. For general inquiries or application assistance, potential applicants can call the EOG Call Center at (833) 364-7268. Multi-lingual application assistance and support will be provided by SBDC and partners, and will include the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese. Multilingual guides can be found here.
In addition to Economic Opportunity Grant program, small businesses can also connect with DEO’s Office of Small Business to access customized one-on-one business counseling, free legal assistance on topics including commercial tenancy, contract development, intellectual property and more, and specialized webinars, workshops, and trainings to help residents open and grow a business. Contact the Office of Small Business at 844-432-4900 or via email at OSB@opportunity.lacounty.gov.